Some attentive seed care and the trays of salads, biennials and perrenials sown last week are up already. Well something is up anyway. I used my own homemade seed compost -
rich and full of life, much has germinated!
Whilst even the most dry loving of plants hang on (the guara, salvias and crocosmia are much smaller than usual and struggling now to flower well), I am looking ahead. Sowing green manures for quick nutrient replenish between early summer annuals and autumn crops. Winter salads to replace the summer annuals and perrenails for next summer.
3 top tips for the weekend are -
1. Review your borders and cutting gardens. Begin thinking about next year now. In my column this month, I look at what perennials can be grown that need little care and attention. Can you add these too?
"Plants (used) include guara, phlomis, verbena, oregano, nepeta, salvia, phygelius, romneya, cerostastigma and kniphophia. This are the backbone of the long border here in our own ‘Braybrooke Garden’. Great long flowering structural and colourful planting. That really do make for some exciting flower arrangements too. They are all perennial requiring little disturbance bar lifting, splitting and replanting after a few years to reinvigorate. Grasses, alliums, crocosmia and Iris are used to great effect behaving like fire works throughout the summer. And now in August, it is the perfect time to order these bulbs and sow these perennial plants, to flower next year, and the next without having to lift and resow."
Featured in Cambridge Edition August 2022
Start thinking and planning for those gaps and sow perennials with me later this month. No greenhouse required.
2. Dead head, dead head and dead head.
It will rain again, and we are only in August. with a couple of flowering months still left! With luck, these plants will carry on flowering for much longer but not if you let them go to seed in the meantime.
3. And if your plants do go to seed...
Collect the ripe seeds on a dry day (ha) and save in paper bags or envelopes. Label with the variety and date. Store in a cool dry place. I use the lockers in the studio for this. I'll start sowing hardy annuals like calendula, cornflowers and snapdragons in September. Again, no green house required!
Saving sweet pea seed in the polytunnel.
Cosmos and sunflowers in the Braybrooke Garden.
Purples and pinks on brief for a 'Kit and Caboodle' Wedding Package
New compost piles of promise. These will be ready in the late winter for spreading as mulch and for the base of my own seed and compost making.
Some of those dry loving perennials in the Long Border.